For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, the Yankees decided to bring back a blast from the past.
The Yanks and Cubs had a deal worked out as of Thursday night that would bring Alfonso Soriano back to the organization that originally signed him. In exchange, the Cubs would receive a lower-level minor league pitcher and, more importantly to the Cubs, relief from Soriano's exorbitant salary. The Cubs were reported to be picking up more than half of remaining $25 million Soriano is still due through 2014 as part of the deal.
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The trade, for Soriano, is complicated in regards to his fantasy value. By ESPN's Park Factors, the move from Wrigley Field to Yankee Stadium is likely a negative one for Soriano's production. Wrigley is both a better run-scoring atmosphere and has more home runs hit than Yankee Stadium. And even the short porch in right field can't help Soriano, as 16 of his 17 home runs this year have been to the left side.
The positive side of the deal is that Soriano will be surrounded by more talent in New York, a boost to his counting stats. Also noteworthy is the fact that, despite Yankee Stadium's less-friendly confines, an overlay of the stadium on Soriano's home run chart this season shows 15 of the 17 homers he's hit would still have left his new home park. He might see a small decrease in home runs, but it's not likely to be dramatic.
In looking at the trade landscape, Soriano may be one of the bigger fish moving from the National League to the American League before the deadline. Most of the big names rumored to be going -- Jake Peavy, Bud Norris, Alex Rios -- are already in the American League, so owners in AL-only leagues who have been waiting to take their shot may be best served to take it on the 37-year-old.
More Trade Winds Blowing
As previously mentioned, Soriano isn't the only noteworthy player rumored to be on the move in the coming days.
Jake Peavy, Bud Norris and Alex Rios, among others, have all been discussed as players who could have new addresses by August 1. Late Thursday it was reported the Braves were "actively pursuing" Norris, while the Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves, Orioles, Reds and Rangers all had scouts at Peavy's Thursday start against the Tigers. The Royals, Rangers and, to some extent, Pirates have all been connected to Rios.
As with Soriano, the players' value changes somewhat in the event they're forced to switch leagues. In the case of Norris and Peavy, that value increases slightly going from the AL to the NL. What's more, both pitchers would benefit greatly from going to the Braves. The Braves play 35 of their final 60 games at home, their remaining opponents have a combined .474 winning percentage and they play the Phillies and Marlins a combined 23 times over their final 60 games. It's hard to imagine a better situation for a pitcher to walk into.
Owners, regardless of league, should keep an eye on the rumors and happenings over the next few days leading up to the trade deadline. Just because these three names have been the most prevalent doesn't mean they'll be the only ones changing teams on July 31.
CarGo Resting His Middle Finger
It's been a rough go of it for Carlos Gonzalez in recent weeks.
The National League home run leader sprained his right middle finger just days before the All-Star break, an injury that caused him to drop out of the Home Run Derby. In the seven games since the break, CarGo is 5-for-23 (.217) with two extra-base hits and nine strikeouts.
To make matters worse, Gonzalez aggravated the injury during Thursday's game. The 27-year-old left after hurting it during a swing in the first inning of the game against the Marlins, and after the game the Rockies were calling it a day-to-day injury.
Even if it is just day-to-day, the chances that he's given a few days to rest the finger are good. The fact that it has lingered for a few weeks is cause for concern, and the Rockies will mostly likely play it safe with their All-Star outfielder. If you're a CarGo owner in a daily league, monitor him closely but plan on using an alternative for at least the next two days.
National League Quick Hits: Domonic Brown was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion ... Steve Cishek will likely remain with the Marlins through the trade deadline ... Bryce Harper (knee) was back in the lineup Thursday and delivered, collecting three hits including a walk-off two-run homer ... Marcell Ozuna will undergo season-ending surgery on his left thumb on Friday ... Carlos Zambrano was released by the Phillies ... Eric Young Jr. (knee) left Thursday's game but X-rays came back negative ... Ted Lilly was designated for assignment by the Dodgers ... Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said he expects Chase Utley to remain with the team through the trade deadline ... an MRI of Miguel Montero's back showed inflammation, leaving him day-to-day ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons are both options to start one of the games of Tuesday's doubleheader with the Pirates ... Drew Pomeranz (biceps) will be placed on the 15-day disabled list ... Cameron Maybin (knee) could resume baseball activities as soon as this weekend ... Trevor Cahill (hip, shoulder) fanned nine while allowing one hit in a rehab start with the Diamondbacks' Arizona League team ... Jonathan Broxton (elbow) will throw live batting practice on Saturday and could be back in early August.
American League Quick Hits: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is hopeful Miguel Cabrera (hip) will play Friday ... Derek Jeter (quad) felt "good" after running the bases and hopes to be activated on Saturday ... Alex Rodriguez could be facing discipline from the Yankees for seeking a second opinion on his quad without receiving permission from the club ... Brandon Morrow (forearm) will miss at least the next six weeks and could be done for the year ... Colby Lewis' (elbow) rehab was moved from Double-A Frisco to Triple-A Round Rock back to Double-A Frisco again ... Omar Infante (ankle) is likely to return Friday, while fellow second baseman Gordon Beckham (wrist) could return Friday as well ... Torii Hunter left Thursday's game with a sore left Achilles but expects to play Friday ... Josh Hamilton (ankle) returned to the lineup Thursday ... Lance Berkman (knee) said he's given thought to shutting it down for the rest of the year but hasn't made any decisions yet ... John Jaso was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion ... Mike Zunino left Thursday's game after taking a foul tip off his left hand, but the Mariners say the move was strictly precautionary.